So..this is the last long weekend of the summer. I am BUMMED. This won’t be a long post because I’m going home, sitting in my backyard and not leaving. You can find me there if you need me.

I still have l lots of things to do as fall creeps in – think about winterizing the pond and fish, clean and put away my tools, clean and organize the garage, weep. But before the leaves and tears start flying – I thought I’d take one long last look at my backyard before starting to wrap things up in a bow.

When I moved in, the previous owners had landscaped the yard in a very western Rockies way… with lots of river rock, cedar trees, mugo pines, rose bushes, dwarf pines, dogwood, buckthorn, etc. Everything was thorny, prickly, angry and mean. (My little mama in the background isn’t prickly and angry. She’s really, really nice.)

HERE’S THE YARD IN 2010

2009

In the photo above you can see a swath of mugo pines between the pond and deck. Those were the first to go…then I slowly got rid of the million round river rocks, cedar trees (you can see a few on the left hand side of the photo above) Rose bushes (two down by the pond and a few in the rocky bed on the right – between the brick path and the deck). All told I pulled out about 20 scraggly, dying trees over the years – plus a giant dying Manitoba Maple and a 50 year old apple tree (pictured on the left above)  For the record – I still miss my apple tree and wish it didn’t die and need to be cut down, but the resulting pergola is an amazing, special, precious gift that makes my heart soar…so I will just say my final goodbye to my apple tree here and now and move on.)

Then after a couple of trips to a gorgeous Mexican resort I was inspired by the beautiful, lush, clean, tropical gardens wanted to create a beachy, relaxing, zen resort feel back there, so got to work pulling everything prickly out.

After six summers back there, I finally have it almost the way I want it….lush and tropical…

Here’s a look-back at how everything grew in this year:

MAY 2014

late may 2014

In April the apple tree came out and in May the pergola went up. With the pergola went in a ton of giant hostas, day lilies, fluffy, leafy heuchera, an bright yellow azalea shrub, purple clematis and ferns. A couple of cana lilies went into the pond – along with some water hyacinths and bamboo.

JUNE 2014

Early June 2014

In June everything started to grow like crazy. I added a sage plant by the deck, chucked a cattail (plant – not animal) in the pond and just sat back and watched things grow.

JULY 2014

July

July is always a crazy month for me, so I didn’t do much back here at all. Again – just poked around, watched things grow and killed a lot of lily beetles. I’m happy to report my vigilante twice-daily crushing of the little bastards worked and I got these beauties this year:

photo

AUGUST 2014

may

August was also much the same as July – My daylilies started to pop open (you can see them behind the cat) and all my hostas started blooming. I think the biggest achievement this month was my new baby grass.

So far, I have a few ideas for next year – fill in the few empty beds left – the south side by the fence, behind the remaining Manitoba Maple drives me a bit crazy…..

photo3

I’d like to do something spectacular with the space by the northwest corner by the garage:

photo1

Figure out what should live under the porch:

photo2

Add some more perennials by the pergola:

photo4

And beef up the perennials around the pond so it’s even more lush:

photo5

And finally – I want to invest in some lighting – under the pergola and some lights for the pond. Too much for my pocketbook this year…but I’ll try to start saving now.

What about your yard? What plans do you have for next year?

xo